Europe Moves to Ban Internal Combustion

The Independent reports that France will ban gasoline-powered vehicles by 2040. The Independent is foolish enough to think that this is good news:

France plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, the country’s new environment minister has announced.

Nicolas Hulot made the announcement as he unveiled a series of measures as part of newly elected President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make the country carbon neutral by 2050.

A lot of electric cars will have to be built, but French automakers stand ready to accept government handouts:

Mr Hulot said he recognised the target would put pressure on France’s car manufacturers, but he said they currently had projects which “can fulfil that promise”.

As part of the plan, poorer households will receive a premium so they can swap their polluting vehicles for clean alternatives.

Of course they will. It isn’t only France, either:

France is not the only country which aims to ban combustion-powered cars. The Netherlands and Norway previously said they wanted to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025 and Germany and India announced similar plans ahead of 2030.

Getting rid of conventional automobiles in the next eight years will be quite a trick, but auto manufacturers are happy to adapt in order to make a profit:

The announcement comes after Volvo said on Wednesday it planned to built only electric and hybrid vehicles from 2019.

It is hard for market forces to compete with government mandates. But where will the electricity to run all those electric vehicles come from? Most electricity in France comes from nuclear power, which produces no carbon dioxide. But France wants to cut down on nuclear power, too:

France has also pledged to reduce nuclear energy from 75 per cent to 50 per cent of the country’s energy mix by 2025.

But France doesn’t want to use coal, either:

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Hulot told reporters France would stop using coal to produce electricity by 2022 and that up to €4bn of investments will help to boost energy efficiency.

I hope they are planning on importing a lot of natural gas for power plants. Otherwise, what? Solar and wind? Good luck running your cars on that.

One is tempted to say that this is mostly just government bullying. We are going to order changes in the way people live just because it is fun to push them around.

Reacting to the news, ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: … “Coming hot on the heels of Volvo’s announcement yesterday, the outlook for the internal combustion engine is bleak. This is now clearly the direction of travel, and industry players who are not on board will find themselves struggling before long.”

Nice auto company you have here. Shame if anything should happen to it!

The Europeans have always done fascism better than we do. I am pretty sure manufacturers of gasoline-powered cars will have a market here in the U.S. for many years to come.

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